England and Australia will renew their long-standing rivalry on Thursday in the first Test of the Ashes. Both sides have named strong squads for the series, with Joe Root and Tim Paine aiming to lead their countries to glory. There have been plenty of memorable Ashes moments over the years, with multiple individual and team performances going down in history. So with the two sides set to head into battle over the next six weeks, we’ve decided to take a look back at 20 of the best moments in Ashes history.
Bradman's shock final innings
Don Bradman needed just four runs against England in his final Test in 1948 to average 100 during his career. However, the legend surprisingly lasted just two balls and agonisingly missed out on the remarkable landmark after being dismissed by Eric Hollies.
Warne's Ashes entry
Shane Warne made his mark on his Ashes debut in 1993 with a delightful delivery to Mike Gatting. The England batsman had to double-check with the umpire that he had in fact been bowled, with the ball being described as the ball of the century.
2005 Edgbaston epic
The 2005 Ashes series was one of the best sporting series of all time. There were plenty of incredible moments during the summer, however, England’s dramatic win at Edgbaston stood out. Steve Harmison took the final wicket for England just as Michael Kasprowicz and Brett Lee looked like they would take the Aussies to a thrilling chase.
Waugh's one-leg innings
Steve Waugh returned for the final Test of the Ashes in 2001 despite suffering a ripped calf muscle. The batsman struck a courageous 157* as Australia ran out 4-1 winners across the five-match series.
Harmison's horror opener
Bowling the first ball of an Ashes series is a career highlight. Unfortunately for Steve Harmison, his delivery in the 2006/07 series was an Ashes moment no one will forget, for all the wrong reasons. The pace bowler got it horrendously wrong, with the ball ending up at second slip.
700 wickets for Warne
Shane Warne became the first player in history to take 700 Test wickets in the Boxing Day Test at the MCG in 2006. The spinner’s victim was Andrew Strauss, who was clean bowled on day one.
Pietersen's 2005 innings
Kevin Pietersen’s brilliant 158 at The Oval helped seal England a draw in the final Test of the 2005 series. The charismatic innings by the batsman is regarded as one of the best in English history.
Australia's 5-0 whitewash
Australia inflicted immediate revenge on England from 2005 during the 2006/07 series. The Aussies won 5-0, the first time a series has ended in a whitewash since 1920/21.
Broad's 8-15 in 2015
Stuart Broad took eight wickets for just 15 runs at Trent Bridge in 2015 as Australia were bowled out for just 60. The innings lasted just 111 balls, the shortest first innings in Test history.
England's dramatic Melbourne win in 1982
Despite losing the series 2-1, England’s win in Melbourne in 1982 is remembered as an all-time classic. Ian Botham removed Jeff Thomson with the Aussies needing just four runs to win to spark chaotic scenes for the tourists.
Boycott's 100th first-class century
Back in 1977, Geoff Boycott became the 17th cricketer to score 100 first-class centuries. He did so on home soil in the Ashes after returning from a three-year absence.
Australia's remarkable 404 chase
Australia chased down 404, a record at the time, to win by 7 wickets at Headingley in 1948. Arthur Morris and Don Bradman were the heroes for the tourists, with the pair putting on a second-wicket stand of 301.
Flintoff and Lee's embrace
Following England’s dramatic win at Edgbaston, Andrew Flintoff’s consolation to Brett Lee is seen as one of the best moments in Ashes history. The sportsmanship showed by the English all-rounder showed just what the battle is all about.
Stokes' Trent Bridge catch
Ben Stokes’ breathtaking catch in 2015 helped England skittle their rivals out for just 60 at Trent Bridge. The catch is regarded as one of the best in any Ashes series.
Crowd help England seal Oval win in 1968
The Oval crowd helped England win an Ashes Test back in 1968. The supporters helped clear the outfield, which allowed England to win with just five minutes on the final day thanks to Derek Underwood’s performance with the ball.
Anderson's perfect response
James Anderson provided the perfect response to Mitchell Johnson’s sledging in 2011. Anderson cleaned bowled Johnson’s partner before celebrating in front of the Aussie.
Compton's courageous knock
England batsman Denis Compton had to be helped from the pitch in 1948 after suffering a blow to the head. However, a few hours later, and after a few stitches to the head, Compton returned and scored a brilliant 145*, with the innings going down as one of the best in Ashes history.
Panesar and Anderson's final wicket heroics
Monty Panesar and James Anderson were the two unlikely heroes with the bat in the first Test of the 2009 series. The pair batted for around 50 minutes to seal an unlikely draw for Andrew Strauss’ side.
Laker's Old Trafford one-man show
England spinner Jim Laker took incredible match figures of 19 for 90 against Australia back in 1956. The figures still remain as the best in the history of Test match cricket.
England's 3-1 win on Australian soil
England continued their brilliant rise under Andy Flower with a 3-1 series win over Australia in 2010/11. It was the first time an England side had defeated their rivals away from home in a Test series since 1986/87.